After the third preseason game saw both Chad Henne and Blake Bortles play five series, the Jaguars still don’t know who their starting quarterback is. Sam Kouvaris and Cole Pepper discuss the possibilities.
Sam Kouvaris and Cole Pepper discuss the Jaguars handling of the quarterback situation and what it will mean for the third preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
photo by Bobby King
by Cole Pepper
October 20, 2013
The Jaguars fell to 0-7 on the season with a 24-6 loss to the Chargers Sunday in Jacksonville. Here are my takeaways from the game:
Offense looked better playing the short game-Despite the lack of touchdowns, the Jaguars short passing game was efficient. Chad Henne finished 23 of 36 for 318 yards (his second consecutive 300 yard passing game). He averaged a respectable 8.8 yards per attempt, and especially through the first three quarters, was very accurate. Having Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis all on the field together for the first time this year appeared to help, with the exception of two dropped touchdown passes by Shorts.
Pass Protection issues-The Jaguars rarely looked to throw deep, and when they did, Henne was under pressure. The Chargers sacked Henne six times on the game, including twice on 4th down plays. Last week, the Jaguars pass protection performed better against the Broncos.
Jaguars still can’t stop the tight end-It’s been an issue all year, and against Antonio Gates, you would expect some struggles. However, the Jaguars also saw Ladarius Green make some big plays, including a 27 yard catch, when he ran past linebacker Geno Hayes.
Andre Branch is going to get a look-Sticking with my theory of this being a 16-week preseason for the Jaguars, Andre Branch continues to get more snaps as the season goes on. He routinely lined up opposite Jason Babin and with Tyson Alualu and Sen’Derrick Marks at defensive tackle. Much like the evaluation of the quarterbacks, evaluating the pass rushers (especially young ones) is going to be vital for the Jaguars as they prepare their off-season plan looking forward to 2014. I would also suspect that at some point, Jordan Todman is going to get more carries at running back, for the same reason.
Jaguars scoring offense at home has been awful-In the opener against Kansas City, the Jaguars managed only 2 points on a safety. Against Indianapolis, it was a field goal. Sunday against the Chargers, the Jaguars totaled only six points. For a team trying to inspire modest interest in ticket sales, the product on the field isn’t doing enough.
Play of the Game (Jaguars version)-As the third quarter wound down, the Chargers faced 3rd and goal from the 3. Philip Rivers ran a tight end shovel pass to Antonio Gates who was hit and fumbled (or so the replay showed). One official initially called it a fumble, recovered by the Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien, but he was overruled by the other officials. Gus Bradley, who at the end of the first half had failed to call a timeout to give the booth time to review a play, challenged the play. The officials reviewed it, and despite clear evidence that Gates had fumbled, did not reverse the call. It was the worst of a bad day of calls by the zebras.
Player of the Game (Jaguars version)-Chad Henne. Hard to say that on a team that didn’t scores a touchdown, but Henne looked in control of the offense the entire game. He wasn’t perfect (he was picked off in the the 4th quarter), but by and large, Henne was solid. When a solid player is the player of the game, you have issues.
by Cole Pepper
August 9, 2013
The Jaguars open the preseason tonight against the Miami Dolphins. Here are the eight most important things to watch:
by Cole Pepper
August 4, 2013
The Jaguars Saturday night scrimmage drew a team-estimated 19,000 fans to EverBank Field. What did we learn and how much will it matter next week when the Jaguars will have had their first preseason game in the books?
For head coach Gus Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell, it will matter. For fans, it will matter less.
That being said, here’s what we learned Saturday night:
Even without the chance to hit the quarterback, the pass rush has the potential to be at least adequate. Jason Babin and Sen’Derrick Marks showed up in the pass rush. Marks turned in two straight disruptive plays at one point. Clearly, the Jaguars will need more than those two guys, but to this point in camp, Babin had been limited and nobody else was getting consistent pressure against the first team offensive line.
Speaking of the offensive line, Luke Joeckel continues to be solid. There was one play where a defender beat him around the end, but it appeared that Denard Robinson was supposed to chip on the pass rusher and did not, leading to pressure on the quarterback. Joeckel may be more comfortable at left tackle still, but he’ll be just fine at right tackle and he’ll be the starter from day one.
Robinson showed off his speed during a kickoff return for a touchdown and Ace Sanders brought the crowd to its feet on a punt return, but remember, there was no threat of being tackled. This was a ‘thud” practice. Still, you can see the potential. I want to see more, especially when the coverage teams arrive with bad intentions.
Sanders was not just a star in the return game, he continues to catch everything that’s thrown his way at wide receiver. If he can continue to do that, the Jaguars may have found their slot receiver and guy who can make a difference offensively.
It was good to see Marcedes Lewis be sent into the pass pattern. On a goal-line play, Lewis caught a corner route for a touchdown. The improvement of the offensive line should allow Lewis to be used more in the passing game. The Jaguars hope that trend continues.
I thought both Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne looked better. Not great, but decent. The Jaguars will take that for now. It’s a step in the right direction. I believe that Gabbert is still leading the competition (although the coaches aren’t saying), but he hasn’t distanced himself from Henne to assure the outcome. In a perfect world, the Jaguars would know who their starter will be by the third preseason game, so he can get the most important preseason snaps with the first team.
All in all, it was a good night for the Jaguars all around. A great crowd, solid performances from some areas that need to be better and plenty to build on.
Then again, I might totally change my mind this time next week.